Erlanger briefs athletic trainers on concussion protocol

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Several doctors from Erlanger Medical Center met with their athletic trainers to discuss how to deal with concussions

Doctor Derek Worley treats a lot of student athletes with concussions and he is making sure athletic trainers have the ability to do the same.

“What they’re learning is how we should go about assessing student athletes for concussions, and there’s a lot of different ways to do that,” Worley said.

Those ways include testing for balance, memory, and vision issues. This helps determine what kind of concussion they have and how to proceed with treatment.

Physical therapist Matthew Carbone believes the key to successful concussion rehab comes when there is a full network of people communicating about how to best care for the patient.

“Its really a challenging diagnosis to work with. But ideally, working as a team with the athletic trainers, the physicians, the physical therapists and the others in the health field, we can recognize what the patient needs immediately and get them the right rehab so they can get better as quickly as they can,” said Carbone.

The trainers were briefed on something called the Buffalo protocol, which involves active recovery by getting the athlete moving on a treadmill.

While athletic trainers are typically the first point of contact for kids who get concussions, parents play an important role in recognizing when their kids need to seek extra medical attention.

Worley said “At the end of the day, moms know their kids and if mom says ‘hes just not acting right and he just got hit in football practice two days ago’ a concussion should definitely be ruled out.”

Carbone says that treatment is imortant for head injuries but many can be avoided by properly training for and engaging in their contact sport.

Both doctors agree that quick diagnosis and treatment are keys to successful recovery.

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